House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) today took Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to task for failing to respond to his concerns about an agency memo that called on the nation’s four power marketing administrations to invest in transmission upgrades and clean energy and to address cybersecurity. At issue is a controversial memo that then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu released last year that called on the Bonneville Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, Southeastern Power Administration and Southwestern Power Administration to leverage partnerships, rate-making power and financing to upgrade power lines and boost reliability and access for renewables.
Lawmakers are once again looking for ways to attract wind-energy producers to Nebraska. At least seven state lawmakers and Gov. Dave Heineman will speak next month at the annual Nebraska Wind Conference in Lincoln. The conference helps generate new ideas based on what has worked in other states, said John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union and an event organizer. Nebraska is the nation’s third-windiest state, but ranks 26th in the energy it could now produce, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Nebraska lags behind its neighboring states: Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas.
Vermont’s governor said Wednesday that he wants to better coordinate a regional effort to exploit renewable energy resources. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said after touring the headquarters of ISO New England, the company that manages the regional power grid, that the region’s power operators need to work together to incorporate the growing renewable energy market into the power grid.
As she was pondering in recent weeks whether to support Ron Binz, President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) got advice from a variety of top aides, including one who had dealt with Binz years earlier.
Carbon dioxide emissions declined both nationwide and in Texas last year, but the Lone Star State still leads the country in greenhouse gas pollution, according to a federal report released Wednesday. The decrease is largely due to a shift from burning coal to natural gas and a slight drop in electricity production. Using data from more than 8,000 facilities required to report their carbon emissions to the agency, the results showed a 4.5 percent drop in emissions nationwide
Environmental, consumer and automaker groups yesterday praised eight states for teaming up to push sales of electric cars, even as some warned there are roadblocks in the market. The agreement announced yesterday among California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont sets a goal of putting 3.3 million zero emission vehicles, or ZEVs, on the road within a dozen years. That’s more than 50 times the current 65,000 now in those states (Greenwire, Oct. 24)
Pro-coal groups and lawmakers are planning a blitz tomorrow against U.S. EPA rules affecting the industry, particularly a proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants and another expected to extend such scrutiny to existing generators. The effort will include hearings, the release of draft legislation and a Capitol Hill rally to highlight the harm they say the rules would do to coal country.
West Coast state and provincial governments plan to make an announcement about their climate policies early next week. Representatives of California, Oregon, Washington state and the Canadian province of British Columbia will make an announcement Monday afternoon at a meeting of the Pacific Coast Collaborative in San Francisco, officials from California and Washington said.
Twelve miles out to sea from the severely damaged and leaking nuclear reactors at Fukushima, a giant floating wind turbine signals the start of Japan’s most ambitious bet yet on clean energy. When this 350-foot-tall windmill is switched on next month, it will generate enough electricity to power 1,700 homes. Unremarkable, perhaps, but consider the goal of this offshore project: to generate over 1 gigawatt of electricity from 140 wind turbines by 2020. That is equivalent to the power generated by a nuclear reactor.
John Norris of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warned the North American Electric Reliability Corp.’s (NERC) second annual reliability summit in Arlington, Va., that “rapid change” has become a fact of life in their business. “Hold onto your seats,” Norris said.